Volume 1 Number 41
October 11, 2004










TEXT VERSION


Sadly, thousands of our fellow Floridians have not been able to rest easy because their homes have been destroyed or damaged and they are trying to rebuild.  For storm victims who have been trying to work with their insurance company to get repairs started but feel they have not been treated fairly or compensated properly, I want you to know help is on the way.

I have created a new mediation program to give storm victims a way to fairly and quickly resolve claim disputes with their insurance company.

Any homeowner with a claim can participate in this program at no cost to them. For instance, mediation can help homeowners work out a settlement if a contractor quote varies from an insurance company damage estimate, or help decide whether a flood policy or a wind policy covers the damage.

We will have four mediation centers set up – the first one to open in Charlotte County followed by centers opening just south of Orlando, in Ft. Pierce and in Pensacola.

To schedule a mediation meeting call us at 1-800-22-STORM.

My best,

The skyline for October is Daytona Beach, photo courtesy of the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
 


GALLAGHER CREATES MEDIATION PROGRAM FOR STORM VICTIMS TO RESOLVE INSURANCE DISPUTES

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced the creation of a mediation program to give storm victims, at no charge to them, a way to quickly and fairly resolve claim disputes with their insurance company. 

“So many Floridians are hurting and struggling to start over.  My goal is to help them do that by getting their insurance claims resolved,” said Gallagher, who oversees the Florida Department of Financial Services.

The mediation program, created by emergency rule, establishes a dispute resolution process for citizens who need help with resolving hurricane claims prior to pursuing other options such as going to court. Mediation meetings will be scheduled and facilitated by court-certified mediators provided through the Collins Center for Public Policy.  CONTINUED


 

 

MEMORIAL SERVICE HONORS MIAMI-DADE COUNTY FIREFIGHTER WHO DIED LAST YEAR IN THE LINE OF DUTY

This year’s annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service, held at the State Fire College in Ocala, honored a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue firefighter who died last year in the line of duty. 

Wayne Mitchell, 37, was overcome by heat during a simulated shipboard fire training at the Resolve Marine Fire School in Port Everglades, and died while in transit to the hospital. 

“His death, and the 126 others who have been memorialized, will not be forgotten and will not be in vain,” said Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher.  “We study every line-of-duty death to determine how we can help firefighters avoid unnecessary risks in a job that is already inherently dangerous.  I know I speak for all Floridians when I say that we are deeply grateful to these men and woman for answering the call to serve and to their families for supporting them.”  CONTINUED
 


 

 

GALLAGHER URGES HOMEOWNERS TO DO HOMEWORK, READ FINE PRINT BEFORE SIGNING HOME REPAIR CONTRACT
As many homeowners across the state are rebuilding their homes, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher is alerting consumers to be wary of entering into contracts for repairs too quickly before they understand clearly what their obligations are regarding monthly payments and interest rates.  Consumers may be offered a contract in which they agree to make monthly payments for the home repairs and, in some cases, a mortgage may be placed against the property as security.

Before you sign a home repair contract, check out the     company by calling the following numbers. 

Contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 1-850-487-1395 to determine if the contractor is properly licensed and if there are any complaints filed against the contractor.

Contact the Office of Financial Regulation, Department of Financial Services, at 1-800-342-2762 to determine if the home improvement company is properly licensed to enter into an installment contract and if there are any complaints filed against the company.   CONTINUED